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Document Details :
Title: Een gelijke wederkerige liefde en respect
Subtitle: Kand over vriendschap
Author(s): LOOSE, Donald
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 78 Issue: 1 Date: 2016
Kant’s idea of friendship, his doctrine of virtue and his moral theory in general, have been criticised on the grounds of what has been characterised as radical dualism. Ideal and real, duty and happiness, reason and feelings as well as feelings of love and respect, definitely seem to oppose each other. However, an analysis of Kant’s practical philosophy in its entirety allows us to understand his doctrine of virtue as an all-encompassing synthesis of his moral theory and to profile friendship not only as a conceivable idea but also as a realistic ideal of human virtue. I summarise the problems Kant himself develops in § 46-47 of his Doctrine of Virtue and his earlier Lectures on Ethics. The main problem of empirically defining an objective standard of friendship finds its solution in Kant’s ethics of intention (§ 2). In § 3 the intrinsic relationship between duty and happiness is developed in the broader context of the duty to promote the highest good. I emphasise the importance and the specific role of feelings in Kantian ethics in general and more specifically the cohesion of love and respect in friendship (§ 4) which finds its fulfilment in religion (§ 5). Finally I refer to the personal, social and political consequences of the falling apart of the constitutional elements of friendship (such as developed by Kant) in several more recent analyses of the topic.